Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with bad news for gladiators. Nowadays performers in Rome who dress like those ancient combatants earn money by posing in photos with tourists. As of today, they've been driven away from the Coliseum. Roman officials say gladiators will no longer be able to peddle pictures outside their classic arena. The no-pay rule only applies around the Coliseum. Still, it's not hard to tell how gladiators will react - thumbs down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
NPR's business news starts with BlackBerry backpedaling.
Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, says it's turning its focus back to corporate customers. This follows its failure to break into consumer markets dominated by iPhones and androids. Last quarter, the company lost $125 million. Analysts say BlackBerry's main problem is its trouble running third-party applications. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
President Obama is expected to sign another stopgap funding bill that avoids a weekend shutdown of thousands of transportation construction projects. The measure gives a 90-day funding extension for road, bridge and rail construction projects.
This Best Buy store in Richfield, Minn., near the retailer's corporate headquarters, is getting remodeled as part of a pilot project in the Twin Cities and San Antonio, Texas. The new store, part of Best Buy's "connected store" concept, will be smaller and emphasize portable electronics, such as tablets and e-readers.
Credit Annie Baxter/NPR
Outside the Richfield, Minn., store on Thursday, a banner announces the coming changes.
Credit Annie Baxter/NPR
Black Friday shoppers wait in line outside Best Buy on Nov. 26, 2010, in Fort Worth, Texas. Best Buy will shut down 50 of its large stores while testing new stores that are 20 percent smaller.
Best Buy is trying to wriggle out of the big box. The electronics retailer has a lot of real estate in its giant blue stores, but it isn't profitable space: In its most recent quarter, the company reported a $1.7 billion loss. So it's shedding stores and workers — and rethinking its big-box concept.
Ask almost anyone about negative political ads, you'll likely get a negative response. They're widely disliked, yet campaigns keep airing them over and over and over again. That's especially true right now in the state of Wisconsin, ahead of next week's Republican primary.
NPR's David Schaper reports that as hated as these ads are, they are seen as effective.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Flip on the TV anywhere in Wisconsin this week and it won't be long until you hear this...
After a reporter asked President Obama about the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., GOP opponents said the president was being divisive by bringing up racial issues. David Greene talks to Lester Spence, an assistant professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, about race and politics.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
A documentary that has been stirring up headlines for weeks finally opens today. "Bully," from producer Harvey Weinstein, has made news for its controversial R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. Weinstein argues the R rating prevents the movie's intended audience - children - from seeing it, and so he decided to release "Bully" unrated.
The Motion Picture Association of America was going to give Bully an R rating for language, but the movie's producer decided to send it out with no rating. The nation's second-largest cinema chain AMC will show it, but Cinemark, the third-largest chain will not.